Tag Archives: Engagement

Nodding dogs barking but not biting on engagement

Early last year I wrote a piece on the culture change stats that prove two thirds of managers are getting it wrong based on an infographic from Booz & Co (now part of PWC). The folks at Good.co recently put out an infographic on employee engagement with some updated research.

There’s a bunch of good new stuff in it quantifying the effects of engagement, like companies with engaged employees outperform their competition by over 200%, have 28% higher gross margins and 18% higher productivity.

The standout gem for me is that 90% of leaders say an engagement strategy will have an impact on business success but only 25% of them actually have one.

Continue reading →

The best way to measure employee engagement

A chap over on Quora posted a question asking what the best method to gauge employee engagement was. In answering I took a slightly different perspective because I believe engagement itself is pretty hard to quantify with a method. Engagement is a state of mind, by nature something that cannot be absolutely observed or determined externally. In lab conditions I’m sure certain sets of answers correspond with a model described level of engagement, but in the real world you’re contending with all sorts of human filters that will introduce bias as people do (or don’t) give the answers they think they should.

If a survey comes out from the boss or HR, are employees really going to be honest about an answer that might cost them their job? At the very least, a sense of duty or loyalty to the team and company will probably inhibit ‘pure’ responses.

It’s much easier and instructive to look at the signs and symptoms¬† – the behaviours expressed that will show the lack or presence of engagement. By looking at actual behaviours, rather than trying to determine state of mind, instinct and experience tells me that they are likely to be a more accurate predictor of engagement. Continue reading →

How much should you offer employees to Pay to Quit?

We’re all familiar with concept of getting the right people on the bus before you even think about embarking on any sort of challenge but how many times have you wished you could get the wrong ones off at the next stop just a little bit faster?

Depending on the employment laws where you are, this can be pretty tricky, particularly when you wish to demonstrate you’ve tried everything reasonable to find the right seat or get the person to a place where they “get it” and are capable of operating in your organisation.

Buried at the bottom of this Guardian article I read that Amazon have apparently hit upon the genius idea of Pay to Quit : simply offering a standing $2000 to anyone that wants to quit. Continue reading →

Decision making in great company culture

Halfway down an article by Lisa Jones on the Corporate Culture Pros blog, this quote from a switched on leader about decision making rang my bell:

“I claim Nagging Rights, but not Decision Rights”

The quote comes from a chap who was staking out the areas of the business in which he would claim final say in any decisions. He came up with only 4 areas in which he would have final say and everything else he claimed “nagging rights”, not decision rights. Continue reading →

Entitlement vs Engagement – lessons from sandcastles

Sand working culture: if you start digging, they will come.

Found this great answer on Quora which illustrates nicely the difference between a culture of entitlement and culture of engagement. In answering a question about “What kind of jobs do the software engineers who earn $500k per year do?“, an ex-Googler Amin Ariana retells a story about a lad building a sandcastle on a beach.

The chap just starts digging on his own. He’s not like the other normals mooching about on the beach building solitary one-bucket sandcastles. He has his own vision and just starts working on creating a massive structure with a moat and an enormous trench down to water. Continue reading →